Also known locally as “Rabbit Island”.
Legend has it that Rabbit Island was either named for the shape of the island from the Southern aspect, or from the ‘rabbit burrows’ on the island seen by early Europeans. One thing is accurate: it is one of New Zealand’s closest offshore pest free islands, with the ‘rabbit burrows’ being the burrows of the Grey-faced Petrel, Common Diving Petrel and, possibly, White-faced Storm Petrel. Other birds which have been seen or heard on the island have been Sooty Shearwater and Fluttering Shearwater.
Historical photographs from White’s Aviation planes in the last century: with a rare view of the back side of Motuotau